Parcells admitted Wednesday that he is thinking about retirement after 19 seasons as a head coach.
Although he re-evaluates his situation after every season, Parcells acknowledged that he will sit down with owner Jerry Jones and take a very hard look at his future whenever the Cowboys' season ends.
"We have an understanding as to what's going to happen," said Parcells, 65. "I'll let you know that when the season is over. But we do have an understanding without question. There's no doubt about what's in place, what we're going to talk about."
There is a clause in Parcells' contract that states he must make a decision by the fifth day after the Super Bowl.
Of course, if the Cowboys do not reach the Super Bowl, the decision would come much sooner.
Considering how the Cowboys played of late -- losing three of the last four games -- the latter is more likely.
And if that is the case, if the Cowboys don't make a surprising playoff run, then the Parcells era has been a failure.
He was hired in 2003 to return the Cowboys to Super Bowl glory. It was the only reason owner Jerry Jones sacrificed himself and gave Parcells more control of the team than he has any coach since Jimmy Johnson.
Yet, the two-time Super Bowl champion coach has only proven to be better than predecessor Dave Campo in Dallas. Parcells has a 34-31 overall record. Most disheartening is his teams' 8-12 record in the months of December and January, when games matter the most.
While Parcells understands the expectations, he said he is not thinking about the Super Bowl right now. He said his only focus is on getting ready for Saturday's game.
And if the Cowboys do beat the Seahawks and get on a Super Bowl run, Parcells said it would have no bearing on his decision about coming back or not.
"You can't make a judgment on that," Parcells said. "You've got to make a judgment based on whether you feel like you want to take on this task, if you want to do it again. (If) you want to muster up enough energy because you know you got another off-season, another draft, another preseason and another regular season. You've got the whole drill. If you're ready to try to do that with the energy that you know it takes, then you go forward with it."
Parcells said the decision to come back will be his and his alone, although there is no question Jones is not pleased with his investment right now.
Parcells has made roughly $20 million over the past four years.
And when Jones gave him a contract extension at the end of last season, it was the first step in the process of building a Super Bowl team in 2006. Jones admittedly sold out in the off-season for immediate success.
Parcells will admit that this was his most talented team since he's been in Dallas. For the Cowboys to falter down the stretch, losing three of their last four and blowing a chance to win the NFC East title, is a huge disappointment.
Parcells says the Cowboys have a chance to make amends in the playoffs, adding that he will savor every minute because he knows the end is near.
"I told you before, when you get older like I am, the games get more precious to you," Parcells said. "They really do because you don't know how long things are going to go, so you know you do view them as more precious."
SERIES HISTORY: 11th meeting. Dallas leads the series 6-4. Seattle has won three of the last four contests. This will be the fifth meeting between the two clubs in the last three years, including preseason, regular season and post-season action. Dallas' come-from-behind win at Seattle in 2004 marked the first time in club history that the Cowboys scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes of regulation to win a game. Three of the 10 series contests have been decided by a touchdown or less, while six of the games have been decided by two touchdowns or more. Dallas holds a 3-2 regular-season record when playing in Seattle, including 1-1 at Qwest Field.
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